Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I want to wear a t-shirt that says I heart New Orleans. I do not want that place to be going through what it is going through right now. I was glad yesterday when it hadn't filled up with water. I am in shock now. I've been bitten by the New Orleans bug in a big way, the city deeply affected and enchanted me. I am at a loss for words right now.

Every year meteorologists cock their eyebrows at at least one storm in the Gulf. I don't know if the general population does this or not. Every year we say the what ifs and we say the thank goodnesses. Every year we think, "What if Camille wasn't the big one?" I don't have any inside track on knowing that a city near the sea that is below sea level is living on borrowed time.

My heart is breaking for the city, and for the people in the city. And for the people in the lower parishes. And for the people in Biloxi and Gulfport and everyone who is affected. I've spent a lot of time looking at storm damage, and I'm amazed by the level of the destruction.

I do have a sweatshirt that says "New Orleans" on it. I just need to cut out a heart and pin it on...

(Scanned copy of an actual photograph printed on real photographic paper, taken five years ago. Apologies for the quality. It is old school.)

Happy Birthday

Today is my baby's 9th birthday.

Cute, but goofy. I am hanging on to that picture for his first Prom date.

He is taking the bowl of cookies with him to school. My parents and sister came down last night and took us all out to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. He enjoyed it a lot, and he got a groovy shirt too.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


We finally caught a break today and got out of town for a while.

We drove out 94 past the wineries, along the Katy trail, over the river and through the woods, to Cowan's in Washington. We made a quick stop at the Daniel Boone home, but we did not feel up to the tour today. We ate a nice homey meal and enjoyed HUGE slices of pie for dessert.

On the way home, we stopped by Dennis's new find, Reifsnider State Forest. Reifsnider is located off of Schuetzenground road. We all enjoyed saying that ten times fast. I took my car across a rock bottom low water bridge*. I proceeded to get it extremely dirty on the gravel/dirt road. Hooray!

It was really nice to unwind for a few hours. I've been on overdrive since we decided to move.

*otherwise known as driving across a creek

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Since I've joined the Squishy Place, I've driven past the Alberici windmill (at I-170 and Page Avenue) on a regular basis. I always watch it while I'm driving. On days when it is in motion, I like to eat lunch at one of the places nearby that affords a view of it. I really enjoy the way it rotates with an approaching thunderstorm. I've also noticed a microclimate where two nearby flags always flap at about a 30 degree angle to the windmill itself. I believe the flags are catching wind coming down from the interstate embankment, while the windmill is indicating the true wind direction.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I don't know where I'm going!

Someone has taken the girl out of South County! I've got that good old fashioned lost all the time feeling again. I have to think hard before I go anywhere around here and plan my routes. I am not very familiar with the St. Charles area, and I am making "discoveries" every day. I am still considering just about every outing an experiment, and I'm slowly learning which roads connect to each other so that one day I hope to really know my way around.

One thing that I know is that there is a whole lot of driving involved in everything. Things are very spread out. Stores that I am used to visiting in one trip are across town from each other. Out here, that's a lot of miles on the car. Out here, there is a whole lot of waiting at stop lights.

I have noticed that there are enough dining establishments of one sort or another to fill several weeks of eating out with very few repeats. I would guess that means that people cook less out here, but the grocery store concentration is also very high. There seem to be more than the average number of Walgreens as well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

First Day of Fourth Grade

Today was Chris's first day of Fourth grade. He did not want his picture taken this morning. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

State Fair Time

It is State Fair time again! We went to the Illinois State Fair yesterday. Yes, I know, I live in Missouri, but I always go to the Illinois Fair. Crazy!

The Butter Cow's webcam is still up and running. The 4-H kid showing the Butter Cow creeped us out a little bit.

There was only one litter of piglets in the furrowing center this year, but we actually got to pet the runt. *cute* I just love piglets!

We met my parents at the Ethnic Village to watch Beth dance, but we got interrupted by a sudden downpour.

Although the dancing was brought to a halt, the pipers stayed on stage and continued to pipe right through the weather.

We all ran for cover and huddled under the plastic covers.

Unfortunately, the stage got too wet, so that was the end of the dancing for the evening. Everyone knows Scots can't dance in the rain...

We split off from my family and went to watch a few classes of the Society Horse Show. There was a mechanical bull outside the Coliseum, and Chris just had to try it out. He did really well! It was so cute and funny to see him up there making funny faces and holding on so tight with his little legs :-D

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Squishy Stuff Hit the Fan

Today at the Squishy Place, a formal announcement came down that in a few months' time, smoking will no longer be allowed on company property. Not outside, not in your car in the parking lot; N.O.W.H.E.R.E. It hasn't yet been a full year since I quit smoking, so I am very much on the fence in this debate. I understand where the company owners are coming from, and I really don't dispute their right to chose to ban tobacco products from their property. Noone disputes the fact that alcohol is a legal product that has no place in the work environment, and the management feels that tobacco falls into the same category. Despite what every smoker thinks, nicotine actually does impair concentration, and I can tell you without any question that it is a mood altering drug. The company is very freely offering financial support to those smokers who wish to quit. I don't necessarily feel that they are in the wrong to clearly state what they will and will not allow on their property.

However, I remember very clearly what the physical dependence on the nicotine is like. I don't envy the smokers one bit. They are of legal age, and using a completely legal product. I don't think we're going to see much indoor smoking anymore anywhere, but I don't really have a problem with designated smoking areas outside. As long as it doesn't start cutting into the work day, taking a smoke break or two really shouldn't be an issue. Non-smokers take restroom breaks. We all have to make occasional personal calls during business hours. In this case, there is an hour's paid lunch each day that we can use as we see fit. I think that they are going to simply clock out for five minutes at a time and cross the street for their smoke breaks. It would be more accomidating if the company provided a covered area with trash cans, but I know the smokers will find a way to work around the ban. If all else fails, they can find a place to work where they won't have to put up with being discriminated against for their chosen legal activity. This seems like a calculated risk on the company's part, because there are some people who are very good at what they do who are up in arms over this issue and they may wind up losing some valuable people in the long run.

I am too new to chime in much on the subject, other than to tell the smokers that I don't envy them, and to tell the non-smokers that this is yet another reason that I'm glad to have quit.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Things are coming together around here

At least it is starting to look a little bit like an occupied building ;)

My flowers look nice out on the patio. They aren't grouped as tightly together here, so I think I am going to rearrange my planting scheme for next year. It is too late in the year to do anything about it for this year. I may put some mums out by the front door in about six weeks or so.

This is the new dining room table my parents bought for us as a house-warming gift.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Oh, I'm still alive

And you're singing a Pearl Jam song now, aren't you?

I am so exhausted! Everything fit into one truckload on Saturday, we got it all physically into the new apartment by 4:00, and we've been working fairly constantly ever since.

It feels very nice to sit down for a few minutes, even though I really am doing actual work in other windows as I type this. I hope the other windows hurry with their work, because what I really need tonight is actual sleep.

When there are a few fewer boxes sitting out, I'll upload some pictures of the new place. It is bigger. There are two bathrooms. There are two walk-in closets!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

Between my new job and packing, I've had very little time to play with this big white box. So far the job is going well. There is a lot to absorb, but I think I'm getting it. It isn't that bad. Hopefully things will keep going like they have been.

We've got Chris's room all packed up, most of the living room, and nothing from the kitchen, our bedroom, or the bathroom. Eek! I feel like I've been filling up boxes for eons, and I still have soooo much to do.

The computer is going to be boxed up soon - probably tomorrow night. I haven't arranged for new internet service yet either - eek! More work to do! I guess this means that I may be offline for a while.